I bought this for my 10 year old daughter because we liked the movie so much. I'm glad I listened to it first. I suppose the whining of the main character would be fine for a young reader, but the references to testicle cancer, mother having a man sleep over, french kissing, and loss of virginity are not. This one will not make it to her ipod.
Most WW2 books focus on the Jews trials and extermination, but this diary of a young Hungarian Jew shows that many Jews survived in relatively normal circumstances despite change of lifestyle. War is never good and is such a shame for everyone involved. She mentions that life for the Jews in Munich, post WW2, was better for the Jews than for others. This diary starts before the war and ends with the young woman traveling to America to start again. While this book reads like a diary and doesn't have any nail biting, high adventure scenes, it is interesting to hear a real-life perspective of how other Jews survived the war. The reader has a lovely voice. She speaks with an American accent. The diary does say that the young girl speaks English perfectly, so I guess it works.
Not everyone will like this one, but I did. I love how Diane Setterfield takes books like Jane Eyer in the Thirteenth Tale and now Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven and constructs a new story around the same premise. If you don't get "The Raven" you probably won't get Bellman and Black. The story is so well done. It is a slow moving story of the life of William Bellman. He spends half of his life in pursuit of riches, but at what price? The Raven's sorrowful words of "never more" are brought to mind over and over again. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It makes me want to enjoy the relationships of those around me and never take a moment for granted of the time I have with those I hold so dear.
I SOOO wish I had known this before the end. I just about screamed when at the last chapter it stopped! That being said, I did enjoy the story. I spent almost 24 hours listening, and did not regret it until the very end. Even then, I think if I would have been prepared for the authors death, I would have been fine with it. She had already tied up the loose ends and the writing really was on the wall for the ending. After finishing the book, I immediately watched the mini-series and was happy that they really did end it with what I think was the perfect ending to Elizabeth Gaskell's story.
I felt there were too many short stories all within the big story. If it had not been for the excellent story telling capability of Khaled Hosseini, this book would have been a complete flop. As it is, it was like starting a new book every few chapters. I like to get into a book and the characters. This one kind of danced around the room.
I am amazed that in the 1700's a young girl and an old woman could actually cross the wild frontier that none other but the Native Americans had done before them. The story of Mary Ingles is riveting. She is strong, kind, and focused. Her relationship with Gretta is at times wonderful and at others quite intense. I like to read period books, and while this one was written in the 1980s, it was taken from a real person from the colonial times. I am sure that it is not all factual, but still an amazing story. Read it, you won't be sorry.
I think, after watching the movie, it was a bit of a let down. The movie was downright scary. The book was at times a bit slow, and did not keep that feeling of intensness going. It was definitely a take it or leave it kind of book. But that being said, a ghost story is always good for October.
I find myself thinking of this book often. The past is always beautiful in our eyes, like George Minafer's mother. The present is drab and plain like his aunt. The future is fast, bold, and unwanted like Mr. Morgan. Life moves on, whether we want it to or not. I love the line "Get a Horse!" because those unreliable automobiles are just a fad. -- While this book was written in 1918, it's moral is certainly timeless which is in and of itself is quite ironic. The book does seem to drag just a bit which is why I have given it only 4 stars instead of 5.
Yes - there are a lot of themes addressed that can not be understood in one reading
I liked the reality of the situations that the boy had to face and the strong manner in which he did so.
This book is written in an easy manner that a child can follow, but the subject matter, while written about a young boy on a farm, is deep. The main character, Robert, takes the reader on a journey to manhood through his experiences on his farm. There are times when he shows more strength and understanding than the grown men around him. He learns of the realities of life and death, the joys the small things in life, the love of family, the strength to do what is necessary for the greater good, and many more interesting and sometimes difficult to listen to experiences. Life on a farm does show in beautiful, and sometimes brutal ways the realities of life. I suppose that is why some of the hardest workers I have ever met were raised on a farm, milking a cow every morning and night. In some ways this book reminds me of "All Creatures Great And Small" only not humorous and focusing more on the meaning of life.
This book surprised me. A 7th grade boy in 1968 going to school. It started out just as cute as I expected, but by the end it had turned into something much deeper. It addressed the social issues of Vietnam, religious prejudice, love of money over family, marriage and family relations, and reaching your potential. All of these were addressed in a way that a 7th grader and an adult could laugh and cry at. This is a great book. I will probably read this one with my kids on the next road trip. There is a lot to laugh about and a lot to talk about.
I guess I missed it. A young boy has a father of miracles for a father and a "murderer" for a brother. I kept thinking the author was going to bring in some great spiritual insights with a premise like that, but alas, no. It was all just symbolism without a real point to it. I could take the narrative or leave it. Thus, a three star.
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